The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is perhaps one of the most well known international agreements. The multilateral treaty allows for the expeditious return of a child where the child has been abducted by a parent.

A court in a country subject to the convention is required to disregard any dispute in regards to the merits of a child custody arrangement where abduction is alleged. Instead the court is required to determine only where the matter ought to be heard, and make orders to facilitate that hearing. The court order does not return the child to the other parent, but to the appropriate member country. This prevents, amongst other things, a parent from taking their child to another country in the hopes of obtaining a more favourable order from a foreign court.

The treaty relies heavily on its signatories in order to provide a safety net against abduction. As such, the recent signing and ratification of the convention by Japan is an important milestone. The convention will enter into force for Japan on the 1st of April 2014. Other recent signatories also include South Korea and Kazakhstan in 2013. Australia joined the convention in 1987.

Best Wilson Buckley Family Law can provide advice on all aspects of family law. We have acted previously for parties seeking the assistance of the Central Authority to recover a child from an overseas destination and those that are defending an application in Australia to return to another country. Call Best Wilson Buckley Toowoomba on (07) 4639 0000 or get in contact with Best Wilson Buckley Brisbane by calling (07) 3210 0281.